Two hours before I was due to start rehearsals with the students, for the play that we are performing during our China trip, I received an email containing the latest draft of the play. Or, to be more precise, I received a version of a play that bore almost nothing in common with the script that I had written, received feedback for, and then re-edited. I was obviously slightly taken aback by this, but only from the point of view as a writer; after all, this project is not about me, and it is far more important that the two universities (The Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing) get what they want, that we are able to build international relations, and that potentially damaging political incidents are avoided at all costs.
The new play is entirely in Japanese, and whilst there is an English translation, I basically now have the task of directing a play that I did not write, in a language I do not understand, for an audience that I cannot comprehend. Thankfully most of the students that are involved in the project are either Japanese, Chinese, or have a level of Japanese which is far superior to mine. At any rate it certainly promises to be an experience, and on the plus side at least I won’t be able to understand any of the criticisms.